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Portugal launches new visa scheme for remote workers

Portugal has launched a new visa scheme for digital nomads who want to settle in the country.

The southern European country made the decision after a recent parliamentary proceeding which led to the amendment of the nation’s ‘law on foreign nationals’.

A digital nomad is someone who works remotely while travelling to different locations.

Under the new scheme, remote workers can live and work in the country for up to one year, or apply for residency to stay longer.

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The government said applications for the new digital nomad visa will be accepted from October 30, 2022.

To be eligible for the digital nomad visa, remote workers must be from countries that are not part of the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA).

The Portuguese government said the visa is split into two categories, encompassing both remote workers aiming for a temporary stay of up to one year; and also digital nomads looking for a residency visa in Portugal.

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To qualify for the two types – either short stay or residency permit – remote workers need to prove a monthly income that is four times the amount of the current minimum income in Portugal (national minimum wage in Portugal is €705) and a work contract or proof of self-employment.

Applicants must also show proof of tax residency.

The digital nomad visa can be applied for from a Portuguese consulate in their own home country; or if the applicant is already in Portugal, they could apply by an expression of interest with the foreign borders office (SEF).

With the visa, recipients can travel visa-free throughout the Schengen Area, a region containing 26 European Union member countries where travellers can move freely without dealing with border control.

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Speaking on the development, Ana Catarina Mendes, minister in the cabinet of the prime minister and for parliamentary affairs, said: “Portugal is a country for immigration. Every year, we receive thousands of immigrants, seeking opportunities in our country. A country that wishes to welcome immigrants as it wishes its emigrants to be welcomed, too”.

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